Answering the Question

Questions can be good things. They tickle our minds, inspire us to find answers. But they can also be frightening.

During senior year, you are asked a lot of questions. Innocent questions. “Where do you want to go to college?” Some of them you’ve been asked almost as long as you could speak. “What do you want to do when you graduate?”

They become frightening when you realize you don’t know the answers.

Those are questions I started seriously asking myself since freshman year. Fast forward four years and I want to have an answer.

I started visiting colleges freshman year. Senior year, I looked at almost every available college, categorized them, and, with some difficulty, picked my top schools from each category. But still, nothing seemed quite right. I panicked. I sent applications to every college I could think of (or, at least, every college that sent me a free application).

A few weeks ago (maybe a bit over a month), my pastor recommended a school to my dad. A little research showed that there was a contest for various levels of scholarships, but the deadline was only a few days away.

Half-crazed with desperation, I sent my application in.

I couldn’t attend the weekend at the college that applicants were encouraged to attend because I had a government conference that week. My interview (via Skype, which never works properly on my laptop) was set up a few days after I was scheduled to return from my sleep-deprived week. And, somehow, I had to find time to read a book entitled Serious Times. (An interesting book, but “reductive naturalism” and “syncretism” don’t make for a gripping read.)

I felt like I bombed my interview (especially when, as predicted, Skype failed me), but the stars aligned. I received full tuition, making this school even with my other top choices. And (coincidently?) my spring break was clear, so I could visit campus before my other scholarships expired.

After initial disappointment at the campus exterior (a recent ice storm had killed everything that’s supposed to be green), I discovered engaging professors, friendly students, exciting opportunities, and challenging curriculum. By the time I left, I was sure that Union University was the college God reserved for me.

Questions are good, but answers feel safe. And I’m glad that my biggest question will be “How should I decorate my dorm room?”